EAGLE PASS, Texas — According to a law enforcement source with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Army National Guard troops located a duffel bag containing assault rifles along the banks of the Rio Grande Thursday morning. The bag contained seven AK-47 style rifles.
This is the second seizure of rifles and accessories locally in the last two weeks. On April 25, Border Patrol agents seized another duffel containing 24 magazines and more than 500 rounds of ammunition.
On Wednesday, Border Patrol agents performing riverine operations on an airboat discovered the lifeless body of a man with his hands bound behind his back and a possible gunshot wound to the head. It is unknown if weapons and the homicide are connected. The latter remains under investigation.
The Eagle Pass region has seen an increase in migrant crossings that are largely being controlled by Los Zetas Cartel. Border violence in the region has been on the decline, however. Intelligence officials with the Border Patrol believe this is the result of a deliberate attempt to maintain a low profile as opposed to a sign of weakness.
It is unknown whether the recent weapons seizures and gruesome discoveries are a signal of change for the control of area cartel turf.
According to the Border Patrol, more than 5,000 arrests of migrants have occurred in the Del Rio Sector over the last eight days. A significant number of these arrests happened in Eagle Pass.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas Sector.